Three months after first diving into the world of footwear, Lululemon (LULU) – Get Lululemon Athletica Inc Report gets all kinds of other ideas.
The women’s sneaker, known as the Blissfeel, launched this spring and was a major shift in strategic trajectory for the Canadian athleisure company. Since its appearance in 1998, the company mainly sold sportswear and a few odd accessories.
On its latest earnings call, the company’s chief executive, Calvin McDonald, said first-quarter demand for the shoe line “significantly exceeded our sales forecast” and prompted the company to explore other areas to branch out into before the footwear line is fully rolled out.
The company has recently expanded to include sneakers, training shoes and pool slides known as Chargefeel, Strongfeel and Restfeel. He is still working on a line of men’s shoes for 2023.
What is it about a hike and retro lines?
On the earnings call, Lululemon reported net sales of $1.6 billion, a 32% increase over 2021, and raised 2022 sales estimates to $7.61 billion. of dollars to 7.71 billion dollars.
McDonald also said that alongside expanding its running line, Lululemon plans to roll out apparel specifically designed for hiking “in the coming weeks.”
Although few details were given on what it would look like (images of grippy shoes, fanny packs and Patagonia-style fleece jackets come to mind), McDonald said the new styles would be “designed specifically for the hike” in the same way as its two recent lines have been specifically designed for tennis and golf.
Scroll to continue
“This assortment will combine elements from our base assortment with new styles designed specifically for hiking,” he told investors. “This is an unmet need we’ve heard from our customers, especially as hiking has grown in popularity during the pandemic.”
Another commitment McDonald mentioned was a Throwbacks line that brings back some of the styles that Lululemon had in the past but were later taken out of circulation.
These include the Astro pants that all the popular high school girls wore in the mid to late 2000s and the Inspiro Crop capri-style leggings that were also very popular in the same period.
“Our product team has spent time in our archives to find the best of the best and reissue limited editions of some of our customers’ favorite styles, including revamped versions of our Astro Pants, Shapewear Jacket and Inspire Crop,” McDonald said.
Too many lines, too little time? No, said Lululemon
That’s a lot of plans for a company that only recently branched out into another apparel category and analysts like Tom Nikic of Webdush Securities have questioned whether such plans would overload consumers with too many categories and different “lines” that , such as golf and tennis. , have only a few elements.
While McDonald’s said they “are not getting out of the relationship we already have with customers”, time will tell which lines will slip off like shoes and which will eventually fade due to lack of interest.
“The immediate response to all of these additional key activities or categories or items, be it shoes, tennis and golf, has been incredibly strong, which for me just validates the immediate need, response and reaction, and I’m excited, encouraged by the ride,” McDonald said. “We know that when we bring an innovative product that addresses an unmet need, that focuses on those core activities that make the relationship he and she have with the brand strong, it resonates.”